Zimbabwe: Ztn Seeks Free-to-Air Licence

23 October 2020

One of the 14 applications for a free-to-air television licence is Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN), the online streaming service of diversified media group, Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited.

Zimpapers board chairman, Mr Tommy Sithole led ZTN's presentation to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) on Wednesday, and said they would be guided by preserving the national interest.

"Our vision as a group is to fully serve the diverse needs of our content consumers, and television is the next big thing for us," he said.

"A television licence will give us more opportunities to serve our nation by doing the things we do best: Educating our people about themselves, the country and bringing the world closer to them, entertaining them through the promotion of our own very rich culture, the arts and sport."

Mr Sithole said ZTN would be informing people about nation building and bring to life what people fought for, with many others paying the ultimate price.

"We assure you that the national interest shall be our guiding principle as indeed it has always been. The welfare of our nation is the development and happiness of Zimbabweans and shall be the determining factor in how we apply for the licence we seek from you today."

Zimpapers chief executive Mr Pikirayi Deketeke said the application for a television licence was not only a financial proposition, but would also aid the company's goals to give expression to the country's political, social and economic aspirations of the majority.

The company was already employing over 1 000 people and was looking to add more staff, which dovetails with President Mnangagwa's vision of creating more employment for citizens.

"As a business whose majority shareholders are the people of Zimbabwe, through the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust, it is incumbent upon Zimpapers that it plays a leading role in the development of our country," said Mr Deketeke.

"Over the last 40 years, we have invested in our capacity to create and distribute content on multiple platforms, and have demonstrated our ability to do so guided by the national interest and the public benefit while maintaining profitability for the benefit of all our shareholders."

ZTN general manager, Ms Nomsa Nkala, gave a detailed overview of the operations of the online streaming services.

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